Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, Councilwoman Angie Cullin and Councilman Gary Hudes today celebrated the grand re-opening of the Merrick Senior Center with a thrilled group of Sandy-battered senior citizens. Hempstead Town’s 16 senior centers open their doors to more than 190,000 senior citizens across America’s largest township, providing a variety of enriching social, educational and recreational activities and services.
Unfortunately, due to the serious damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, the doors were closed at the popular Merrick Senior Center, located at 2550 Clubhouse Road. While seniors were temporarily relocated to the Merrick Golf Course Clubhouse during repairs to their senior center, the golf clubhouse just wasn’t home.
One of those Sandy victims is the 106-year-old Sadie Salerno, who lost her own home and also was without her second home, the Merrick Senior Center. Today, Sadie joined with Murray, Cullin and Hudes, along with all of her friends at the Merrick Senior Center, to unveil the new and improved Merrick Senior Center during a joyous celebration that included musical entertainment and a luncheon.
“Many South Shore seniors were flooded out of their homes during Hurricane Sandy,” Murray said. “Adding insult to injury these same seniors lost their home-away-from-home to Mother Nature when the Merrick Senior Center was destroyed during the Superstorm.” I am excited to say to Sadie and our Sandy-battered senior citizens, ‘Welcome Home.’”
Construction on the facility, which was just completed, including new insulation, a new boiler, rewiring of electric, a new refrigerator and freezer, a retiled kitchen, a new handicapped bathroom, a new stove, new ceiling tiles, electrically cleaned ducts, two new transformers, new molding and a new kitchen floor.
The Merrick Senior Center is open five days a week and provides an array of helpful and recreational services to over 170 seniors, including fitness classes, educational presentations, entertainment, crafting classes and trips. It has also hosted several popular programs throughout the year, including the town’s flu immunization day, as well as the Bereavement and Caregivers Support Groups. Nutritional services and transportation is also provided.
“Today’s re-opening is an important day as we continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy,” Cullin said. “Merrick’s seniors will certainly be pleased to return to their beloved center.” “This is a great day for seniors, especially those who were victimized by Hurricane Sandy,“ Hudes added. “We are proud to welcome Merrick’s seniors home.”
One of the first programs at the revitalized Merrick Senior Center will be held on Thursday, April 23rd, when Hempstead Town’s Veterans Services Counselor will visit the Merrick Senior Center from 10AM to 3PM to educate and assist veterans about the services and resources available to them. For more information on the Town of Hempstead’s senior services, visit the town website at TOH.LI or call the Department of Senior Enrichment at (516) 485-8100.
“Today’s celebration is a shining symbol of recovery and renewal from the Superstorm as we re-open the doors to what is a second home to many of our golden aged residents,” Murray said. “The forces of nature are no match for the determination of our energetic seniors.”